Saturday, November 2, 2013

Let me tell you how funny cancer is...(and other stuff!)

Its 12:32 am

    Another cold grey day here in SE Michigan,its been a week since we have seen sustained sunshine here. Guess Fall is rapidly pulling out and old man winter is come to visit.
Photo: Guardian Cat.....
 Paladin is doing extremely well and is behaving like a boss. Yesterday,I opened the blinds in the living room so he could scope out the birds hiding in the shrubs,they were trying to stay dry from the all day rain we got on Halloween. He jumped up and was extremely animated,making chattering noises. Now before,he would be really tense and ready to growl if I touched him...but what I did was sit down and watch him...when I said his name,he jumped over and asked for a pat on his head and some sugar...impossible two weeks ago. Now I didn't open the window itself so he wasn't overwhelmed with the noises and smells. We'll have all winter to work on this issue and see if he can't find a happy medium come spring time. 
  I got some great news this week for a change.....our co-worker Justin is home today or tomorrow. He was our store's HR person and also a Naval Reservist who trained men to fight fires. Through some unholy reason,he was selected to go to Afghanistan and serve as a soldier manning a high risk security checkpoint. 
Before he left,Lori asked me to give him a cross of hers as a way of asking God to keep him safe and sane during his posting. I know he is home safe but until I get to talk with him and see for myself,I just hope he didn't see any combat or have to shoot in anger. The stress level he must have been under must have been immense. The good thing is he going to be able to come back to our store,in what position we don't know as we have a new scheduler since he left. I haven't spoken to him since he left,I know he talked to three other people but I can understand that,we have 110 employees and trying to stay in touch would be next to impossible. Just overjoyed he is home...
  The kitchen project is coming along well enough...Howard came by and applied another coat of mud to the crack and will be grouting the crack in the tile come this Monday. That will be part one of the house project,next we will be weatherproofing it before it really gets cold.
  Last Saturday saw me home and following the Wyoming-San Jose State on It looked ugly as the Cowboys jumped to three 16 point leads before the Spartans came roaring back to stop Wyoming,51-44 as quarterback David Fales passed for 482 yards and 5 touchdowns and scored the winning score on a 1 yard rush with 8 seconds remaining. Leading the defense was ball hawk CB Bene Benwikere who had a interception and a fumble recovery. San Jose State is now 3-1 in Mountain West play and 4-3 overall. Today they will be at UNLV who is a surprising 3-1 and 5-3. This game is for 2nd place in the West Division and a must win for the Spartans before they come home to battle a much improved San Diego State team. 
  As for me,I will miss the game as I am going on my first social gathering since Lori's leaving. My coffee friend Sue from work is hosting a party at her house for the Michigan-Michigan State game. She is a die-hard Wolverine fan (I know,I keep trying to convince her she is rooting for the wrong team!) and she invites a ton of folks for a huge feast and to watch the game. Afterwards,if the weather allows,she is going to have a bonfire in her huge fire pit. I have to say,I am looking forward to going,even if I get there after the game. I am sure it will be a good time for everyone. 
  I was looking at my old was October of last year that we learned Lori's cancer had come back. That in six months,she would be gone. I get told all the time not to look back,not to have regret,not wonder "what if"...but its never that simple. It is what happens when you have nothing but the memories of a long struggle. I know that eventually that the good memories will come back...I look at our wedding pictures and the other signs that marked 14 years of being a couple.
  I have a friend on Facebook named Nancy Gershman,we have chatted a little but this week was a little different,she posted a interview on her website. Its part of a series called Tragicomedia in which she asks different people on how they deal with the death of a loved one and how humor plays a role.
  Its a bold idea and I grant Nancy that,its a subject I wouldn't approach and that includes if Lori was alive.
Well the interview I read was by a woman named Sandi,who calls herself "The Irreverent Widow" after her husband died of pancreatic cancer.
   What Sandi thought was humor merely comes across as crass and disrespectful. The crap about wearing sexy clothes,the grief group not having enough "good looking people",the doctor telling her husband that his wife has a nice ass...what a crock of horseshit. And that is what I wrote in my comment (I was very nice on Nancy's page but since I'm on my ground here,I can cut loose). 
 At my store,we have at two widows,a woman whose husband is very sick with kidney problems and a man who transferred from Florida to Michigan because his wife was dying and they wanted to be near family. Well his wife died four days ago....but I asked the three ladies if they saw any humor during their husband's ordeal and deaths. I shared the story on the website and they were pretty offended. I didn't tell them anything but what the interview said and I was neutral in the telling. The humor is found in the warm memories of the relationship,the days when you were lying in bed or on a blanket watching fireworks and made a joke of some little event. Small things like Derek chewing up a slipper or Lori burning a dinner so bad and I sat there telling her how good it was while my face said "what the devil is this"? 
  Watching someone you are in love with is not funny. There are some gentle moments,like drinking contrast before a MRI or watching Terrie and Melanie fuss over Lori. But there isn't anything funny at what cancer does. Sandi's idea of humor reminds me of what Chris Rock said about homelessness. He said if you see a homeless person with a funny sign,there haven't been homeless very long. 
  And that what I felt when I read her interview,she could use humor so easily,not so much as a coping mechanism,but I feel because there was a lack of a true love there...maybe they were more friends then soulmates,I don't know. I just found her to be a sorely lacking in the compassion department. Overly sensitive? Maybe....but I don't think so...
  You be the is the link to the interview.  Read it and then come here and let me know what you think. I did notice one thing about Nancy's series....the lack of comments. Not because she isn't a good a writer because she is but I think people are too taken back at some of the flippant answers that are so easy to say but maybe not easy to actually experience.
 So yesterday was Hello Kitty's birthday. She turned 39 years old and looks the same as the day she was born. I have written this many times but since there are always new readers just joining the party...Hello Kitty was pretty big in our house. Not crazy big but I always bought a Hello Kitty calender as Lori's first Christmas gift every year. I also got her one small Hello Kitty item as it a pen set,a pad of paper,Christmas Tree ornament. It was one of my favorite things to give her,she would always insist on small items because she didn't want anyone to come over and see a house full of Hello Kitty.
 I spent the day at my store reminding folks that it was her birthday. It made me feel close to Lori today,she would have called me "goofy" and she would have been right.

My next entry will be on Sunday night and it will be by guest blogger Susan Smiley. I am looking forward to seeing what she has to write about this time 'round. And I am glad to say that its a much happier column then her first one.  
I worked on Halloween night this year. It was a miserable,rainy day and night. It pretty much washed out the kids in my sub from going trick or treating. I had written that many folks here had once again cut back on the displays that had been abundant that past three years. When I rolled in my sub at 8:30 pm,there wasn't a single kid out but that wasn't the case elsewhere.
  It seems like some subs are now posting signs asking that only those neighborhood kids who live there to be to go door to door. Too many churches from dangerous places (Detroit,Inkster) are loading kids up and heading to the suburbs to go trick or treating. We saw that happen three years ago and in fact we ran out of candy and Lori had to dash out for more. 
  One of my co-workers said 90% of the kids she saw were not from her neighborhood and that she ran out of candy far faster then normal. She was upset about this and said it wasn't fair to her own kids. What do you think? Would you be willing to pass out candy to a bused in group of kids?

Doing a 30 Day photo challenge this month with Andy and Kerri Appleton....we have a theme that we have to shoot a picture that best describes the word of the day. For Day One,Picture One....the word is "truth"

Photo: #photochallenge I am going to try and do a 30 day photo challenge that Andy and Kerri are doing with a different theme each day. Day 1 is for Truth. There is a lot going on in this shot.

I will post the rest of the month as I blog along. 

Shout Outs!

Barb- Thank you so much!
Andy and Kerri - What a great idea!
Gretchen Peters - Not missing your show this time!
Nancy G.- Thank you for allowing me to comment on your page
Sue - Go Blue! (for this Saturday at least)
McFly - 3 World Series in 9 years? Break up the Red Sox!
Steve and Jimmy - Thanks for not blowing us out too badly
Maren- It was nice meeting you this week.
SU2C- That was so overwhelming this week,so very touched!
Brad and Michelle- Wish you were here to see number three with me!
Bene - Have another great game!
Noel - Get that knee better,we need you #23!
Susan- Going live on Sunday!

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  1. You as well my friend!

    1. I know it's not the most cheerful blog out here,Maren,but I am glad you took the time to read it.

  2. Christine CrawfordNovember 2, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    In reference to your question about passing out candy to kids not from my neighborhood on Halloween - I can count on one hand the # of kids I gave candy to last year. I didn't even attempt it this year. With that said, in years past, I would only have so much money to spend on Halloween candy. If I spent that and passed out all the candy, I'd be thrilled. But it never happens anymore because kids don't trick or treat like when we were kids. Their parents take them to school and church parties. Or neighborhood trunk or treats. Halloween is for the kids. If all the candy I bought went to kids, then what does it matter where they're from??? If you are fortunate enough to be in a neighborhood that is full of "local" trick or treaters and you want to make sure all those kids you know get your candy and you can't afford to just buy more, then fine, you may have a tiny complaint. But I don't know anyone anymore that has their streets full of neighborhood kids out begging. (That's what my mom always called it.:) So, you bought candy to give away, then give it away to whatever kids show up!!

    1. I so agree...three years ago we saw several groups from outside our area. They were so happy to be able to trick or treat in a safe area. We generally have about 65 kids but that year we had 165 or so. Lori had to make another candy run as we had run out.

  3. Hello Michael, I read your post to Sandi and wanted to say that you may well have misunderstood her comments, but none the less it was your take on her words that invited you to write to her. Humor is not always about a coping mechanism, where some think it is, and Chris Rock is a funny man but perhaps has little to no filters, homelessness is not funny and sometimes it is a choice (hard to imagine but a realty in my line of work). After reading your blog above I feel like I want to say to you that you have every right to go back in your life/relationship with Lori, Dr Alan Wolfelt teaches that you must go back from time to time to move forward in good standing.... keep pictures of your Lori everywhere and anywhere you choose... remember her birthday and let others know... death ends a life not the relationship!! I guess my take on this is that it is not our job to judge others and how they are in the world, but to be comfortable in your world and have an open mind when it comes to others... bless you Michael as you journey thru this your new normal. XO Marianne